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Tales from the Echobox 001

Tales from the Echobox 001
echobox
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Launching in 2021, Echobox has been forging a path for community radio by showcasing the diverse characters and concepts that surround them. In this feature, we will be looking into a few of the broadcasts that you can tune into so get locked in and don’t touch that dial.

Always Ultra

Can you introduce yourself to our readers and let them know what you do when not at Echobox?
My name is Mike Moonen aka Blöd Heinie. I am a visual artist and as Blöd Heinie I DJ and make music with Losdq (Los Dancing Queens). All sprouting from the moldy hotbed of culture, Maastricht.
LosDQ has been a household name and tradition in anarchy and all for over 31 years. That means the band is just as old as I am. During a performance in prison, they fell asleep like babies after taking sleeping pills. A milestone in rock history. They also invented the belly belt. We asked them to play at a party at our studio once and only two members (Ray Moon and OAA Creemers) seemed to be left. They show up in rescue blankets, I think it was a sign. After that show, I joined in with my fake fathers. It was a good musical fit. I don’t play any instruments but that doesn't matter, OAA doesn't either. Later Joepsie Collins joined us on bass, and the Schuffel on the mic but she just left. It's forever changing.
I also play in another band called Otomax and I cut up clothes with my friends as DOMINIK. In between, I do the dishes. By coating everything I do with the same sauce I hold my practice together in a large variety of activities. I feel like a spider Willie dipping my feet in everything around me.
Tell us about your show, Always Ultra on Echobox - what’s the general idea behind it?
Always Ultra will form the embassy of quasi. As a reporter from the south joined by LosDQ we let the taste and quality meat in an unexpectedly tasty stew whose ingredients cannot be identified. It will provide plenty of entertainment for the curious, jaded and faded. Hysterical recorders and stuffed leggings are art and art are fun.
I try to put together programs that stumble off the beaten path. The episodes have to form a varied mix of audio fragments, stories/commercials, tasty music and some unidentified background noise or commentaries. Music with a high sing-along content, but after all that singing along, there is still a bad feeling about it, which results in stomach ache for days on end. Also, every episode had to be different from the last one. I want to play with peoples expectations and also my own. By shaking up structures you can deviate and go places you didn’t see coming. Confusion and chaos are the warm yet bite-sized elements that give the shows a vaguely Christian allure. I use many tactics to get there, like sabotaging myself doing things I don't have any skills in or inviting other people or sources to join in to distract me or shake things up a bit. There has to be something going on, flappy ears.
It has to be wacky but keep you comfortable while listening. You get on the bus and I'm the bus driver. The chairs are really soft but instead of the bus driving – only the weather takes unexpected turns. I like bringing together what is good in being bad, to get some vicarious shame. Bad means good. Being good in bad. Sunbathing under the radar.
What effect did community radio (past and present) have on your life?
It melted together all worlds I had my feet in. When I started playing, I mostly played random parties just for fun. Making radio and mixtapes made me take it more serious and also made me realize that playing music is a performance for me, even if people don't see me (DJs are not there to be looked at). For the first show on Echobox, I played with my toaster, added some live flute and filled up the chatbox with comments on myself while doing so. It all adds up to the experience and makes the radio come to life rather than just playing records and smoothly blending them in. I can’t even do that so there is no risk there.
It has to leave something for the imagination without becommmmming affections. Everybody can put on a wig and start screaming in the microphone, but that gets boring fast. I prefer the level of wearing your shoes on the wrong foot. Boredom is good because it keeps me on my toes, that is probably why radio joined in on the list of media I want to work with. Radio has a different reach than art. It gives me a new context to play with and a new place to throw things together that are completely irrelevant. When one thing bores me I jump to the next one and back again.
Apart from all these deep insights community radio also brought me a lot of new friends, places to discover and even an interview at Patta.
Where does the inspiration for the name Blöd Heinie come from?
I grew up in Vaals, and when you are a “blöde heinie” that means you did something silly or dumb in the dialect we speak (Völser plat). People used to call me that once in a while, not as a nickname. We have many cool sounding expressions that go in the same direction like “trottel/trottelin”, “hoaf long”, “toepes”, “sjang kabang”. Or “voele mup” for someone who is lazy, or “Nask” for someone who is into science. Sjang Kabang was actually the first pseudonym I used for a while. A belgian cartirestore wanted to sue me for the Kabang name and then I changed it to Bruni Getsing (which means Brown Antenna). Bruni Getsing was a name I stole so after that I thought Blöd Heinie would be a good fit. Also changing the name up helped for mass confusion, but ill stick to Blöd Heinie for now. To pronounce the ö-sound, say “ay” as in day (or as in the German word See). While continuing to make this sound, tightly round your lips. Look in a mirror to make sure your lips are actually rounded. Or say Europa without ropa. I also think it sounds like a name, but by the name you couldn't guess where the person is from. The meaning also fits because I intentionally make a fool out of myself, but I take the music very seriously. Shamelessly doing what I can't do, doing way too much and keep pushing it. Even when I don't try it seems to happen. Because of the dialect, I have a fat accent and when I travel higher up in NL than Roermond people start to have trouble understanding what I say even if I speak ABN normal dutch. When you grow up in Vaals, Germans see you like a cheesehead and the dutch call you the spare-germans. I think that sparked my aim to be a chronic misplacement and embrace it.
In the event of the Robot Apocalypse, would you join forces with the oppressors or lead an uprising against the machines?
Don't call you, we call us.- Naax Drald –

Interdisciplinary Studies

Can you introduce yourself to our readers and let them know what you do when not at Echobox?
My name is Rocky, Amsterdam born and have been playing music for over 15 years. Next to music, I'm into photography and I work as the community manager for the Night Mayor of Amsterdam

Tell us about your show Interdisciplinary Studies on Echobox - what’s the general idea behind it?
My show “Interdisciplinary Studies” is a solidly electronic music-based show where soundbites from movies, news, and the plethora of human errors and achievements are intertwined to become a journey that will leave you with “food for thought”

What effect did community radio (past and present) have on your life?
Community radio for me is a way of life, I don’t do Spotify! I’m always craving new music so radio like NTS or RRFM is always on at my place. What I love about Echobox is that it’s more than just DJ sets, there’s a lot of room for conversation and that’s also why I feel my show is in the right place here.

What is the idea behind your name 'Dynamical Chaos'?
My alias “Dynamical Chaos” is derived from Dynamical Chaos systems, whose apparently random states of disorder and irregularities are actually governed by underlying patterns, as I like my sets to be.

What is your process when thinking about/choosing found audio for your shows?
I like the audio to be topical, so the shows are like the chapters of life at that time next to topics that I feel need to be heard.

Which interdisciplinary studies will you be focussing on in 2022?
Great question! That’s got to be producing music, been doing that for some years now but it’s time to release! So stay tuned for that.

Talk That Science

Can you introduce yourself to our readers and let them know what you do when not at Echobox?

Let me introduce you to the Talk That Science family, consisting of Nicolien Janssens, Nikki Westeijn, Iris Luden, Evelien Wooning, Mirjam Kooij and Patrik Sestic. We are all students at the University of Amsterdam. Nicolien and Nikki have so far done most of the interviews, Patrik does the editing, Mirjam does finances and Iris and Evelien will soon do their first interviews on Echobox. 

Nicolien is currently finishing her masters in logic, and specializing in group decision making from a mathematical and philosophical perspective. Outside of this theoretical stuff, I like trying new hobbies, often having to do with either sports, photography or music. Recently I ran my first half marathon in Ameland - I can really recommend it, running on the beach is great -  and currently, I am on a hiking and wild camping trip for one month. 

Nikki is also finishing the same masters as Nicolien: Logic. Nikki and Nicolien met when studying for their bachelors in philosophy. Besides studying, I love to go out, which unfortunately we have not been allowed to do a lot for the past few years. To get through the lockdowns, I have taken up knitting, playing the guitar and yoga and I realized I love this kind of stuff. Iris and Patrik also study Logic. Mirjam studies medical science and Evelien studies physics. 

Tell us about your show, Talk That Science on Echobox - what’s the general idea behind it?

Almost two years ago we combined our passions into a podcast. We noticed that there is a gap when it comes to talking about science in public. Scientists rarely communicate their results to the rest of society and some people have lost interest and trust in science. For this reason, we combined our two biggest passions – science and music – to set up Talk That Science with the aim to give science a place in public radio and podcasts. By opening up conversations with scientists in combination with music, we hope to make science accessible for everyone. We also do this by not only inviting senior scientists, but also students and people from our age in order to make the discussions more relatable. We started as a podcast and we are now live on Echobox radio every month since August.

What effect did community radio (past and present) have on your life?

Community radio is a great way to make sharing passion and expertise accessible to anyone. The accessibility goes in two directions: as a listener the makers are more accessible, and as a maker, well, starting to broadcast is more accessible. For example, the guys from the Interference Patterns show at Echobox approached us a while ago. They planned to make a show about music of the future. They listened to our show and thought that from a science perspective, we might have some ideas on what the music of the future would look like. We met in a cafe to brainstorm about the idea, that was real fun! I think this is something that can only happen with community radio, because you feel like a community that makes something together. What we also like about community radio is that we really feel that we are addressing a specific crowd, a crowd where we feel comfortable to be ourselves and a crowd that we want to make enthusiastic about science. 

What made each of you pursue science and what do you specialize in?

Nicolien: As I pointed out already in the first question, I am specialized in group decision making from a mathematical and philosophical perspective.  I find the force as well as the weaknesses of groups fascinating, and there are many surprising examples beyond humans where organisms communicate with each other to survive. For instance, trees communicate with each other over huge distances through fungi. They warn each other, and donate food to each other. And herrings communicate through each other by farting. If a majority of the group farts, then, well maybe not surprising, it means that there is some danger and they have to flee. 

Nikki: As I mentioned in our introductory show on Echobox, many people in my family have been to university. I am conscious that I come from a privileged background in this respect. It made going into academia a natural step for me, but also made me very enthusiastic about it. I think that learning new things is one of the most fun things in life. I am interested in all sorts of areas like language, history and neuroscience, but eventually I chose to study philosophy for my bachelors. I love the open-minded perspective you are required to take when you study philosophy and the fact that it overlaps with many different disciplines. I also in general really like people that study philosophy (we also learned that two of the Echobox founders once studied it!). The masters in Logic that I now do is very interdisciplinary which also suits me. Logic relates to mathematics, philosophy, artificial intelligence and logic can be used for any area in which we are required to apply systematic thinking and rules of inference. 

I am currently especially interested in the philosophy of physics. There are many phenomena that are studied by physics that can be subject to philosophical debate, such as the direction of time of the universe. I did my first Talk That Science interview about the philosophy of time. Physicists use mathematics to study phenomena but are rarely required to think about what the mathematical formulas mean. That’s why I love the combination between philosophy and physics and I think it should be done more. One reason why I love Talk That Science is that it also brings different disciplines together which can lead to new interesting perspectives. For example, in one of the shows at Echobox we invited a philosopher and a lawyer to discuss the concept of causality from both perspectives. It was really interesting and it seemed like both guests learned a lot from each other.

Evelien: I have always been curious and I tend to get very fascinated by things I don’t understand. Moreover, I find the way in which science innovates and comes up with solutions for seemingly impossible problems really cool and important. The physics field has a big role to play in, for example, the energy transition and cyber security. This motivated me to go into science.

What is your favorite fact of all time?

Nicolien: My favorite science fact is the one I already highlighted in our first Echobox episode. It is the Condorcet Jury Theorem. It is a mathematical theorem that proves that groups of people are always smarter than the individuals that compose them. From a scientific perspective I like it because it combines formal mathematics with a societal issue. From a practical perspective, it gives me courage to believe that although we are with so many people in the world, together we are able to find good solutions for living together.

Nikki: The fact that time will pass more slowly if you travel at high speed. This is one of the things you learn in physics when you study Einstein’s relativity theory of time. If two twins would be separated such that one of them stays at home and the other will move in a rocket ship around the earth at very high speed, the twin in the rocket ship will be younger than the one who stayed on earth. This thought experiment is known as the Twin-Earth experiment (look it up if you want to understand it!). The relativity of time always puzzles me which is why I love it so much! 

Evelien: The observer effect in quantum mechanics. It means that, just by the effect of observation/measurement, particles behave differently than they would if they had not been observed at that particular moment in time. It mathematically makes sense in a probabilistic way, but that this effect can really be experimentally shown really blows my mind

If you could create a person from a computer like the 1985 cult classic Weird Science, who would you create?

Gandalf, because then the regular laws of science would not apply anymore and we could start exploring a whole new world of magic.

N0RTHSOUND


Can you introduce yourself to our readers and let them know what you do when not at Echobox?

My name is Korey and I've been DJing under the name HITECA since 2018, cut my teeth in clubs in London before that during university but grew into my own soundscape in the past four years. Outside of the Echobox show, I work full-time at a Fashion PR agency, play with a football team, enjoy capoeira and get involved in charitable initiatives with my local community, where I can.

Tell us about your show, N0RTHSOUND on Echobox - what’s the general idea behind it?

N0RTHSOUND is an investigation and celebration of diasporic rhythms that have grown from African, Caribbean and Latin cultures. It looks at how those rhythms have traveled and evolved over time and the new club genres that these sounds have birthed.

What effect did community radio (past and present) have on your life?

Community radio has been key in shaping my tastes, finding like minded friends and also stepping into the industry in general. I volunteered at a local radio station in 2017 in Peckham which gave me the opportunity to listen to amazing DJ's play great music all day and gave me insight into how radio shows are made. With mainstream radio being so money-driven and lobbied, community radio is the only way to get a real sense of the underground scene in a particular area, discover new talent and find new tastemakers.

What does the diasporic sound mean to you?

I wouldn't particularly call myself well travelled, but as a 1st generation brit, with family from the Antigua, Barbados and Puerto Rico I've always been interested in genres that my mum brought me up on since I was a child, reggae, calypso, rnb, soul, jazz and reggaeton. I feel like I've grown up alongside these sounds as they've developed in tandem with the internet and produced new genres like grime, neoperreo, shatta, flex dance music, gqom, amapiano etc. So i guess diasporic music is just the sound of a displaced peoples, and that music is the medium that we choose to reconnect with each other, wherever we are on the planet

Top three artists (alive or dead) to headline your birthday party?

Damn, I've never actually thought about this, probably Aaliyah, DJ Playero and Florentino

Where are you broadcasting from and how do you feel connected to broadcasting from below sea level? 

Currently I'm broadcasting from my home, I'm based in south london, so I pre-record my shows then send them to echobox to get played out a few days later, but I'm planning to drop a live one in the studio when I'm in Dam early next year [2022] (praying the COVID mess settles down to a safe level)

Young Oprah

Can you introduce yourself to our readers and let them know what you do when not at Echobox? 

We are Young Oprah, we are female human mammals, we are partly or fully of Surinam descent, we reside in Amsterdam, we like to listen to each other, to others and we love to be heard. And although we are from different generations we find common ground in our daily routines, upbringing and cultural heritage.

Tell us about your show, Young Oprah on Echobox - what’s the general idea behind it?

Our show bio reads: ‘Brace yourself for three generations of unsolicited insights and advice. Cheniqua, Fayette and Riva host a monthly show, shedding light on everyday objects, subjects and perspectives accompanied with matching sounds.’

We think this intro really covers it. Any random subject, object, perspective can be a common denominator, something that brings us and our listener closer together. The listener gets a radio show about a theme that might be something they think about frequently, something they wear on a daily basis or something they always talk about at a dinner party (or after party). You get some random fun facts and figures, not too science based, just dates and percentages that can help entertain your train of thought through the waiting line at the supermarket. Our goal is to keep the show light and keep the listener company. 

What effect did community radio (past and present) have on your life?

The show is a super nice add-on to our daily life. Yes it takes time to prepare, to meet-up, to find a topic and to select music. But most importantly it’s nice to be a part of an audible maker platform, that is so unique in identity and mindset. This type of pioneering gives us energy and makes us grateful to be a part of. We are not experienced radio makers, so we get a chance to fine tune our format and make the listener part of the process and growth as radio hosts. We think this resonates with Echobox as a whole; there is room for reality, for imperfection, for integrity, for growth, for you and all your weirdness. 

Where do you get the inspiration for each show’s theme?

Sometimes it’s an individual fascination you suggest in a brainstorm session and everybody can find their own perspective within that theme and sometimes we have a longer chat and just start naming random things and see what sticks. There is enough time and a lot to talk about so we park a lot of subjects too. The last show we decided to prepare our own perspectives individually and discuss them on the show, so just like the listeners we heard each other's insights for the first time during the show.

What was your favorite topic covered this year?

Hair! It starts off super strong with a Led Zeppelin song and just deep dives into a fraction of what our own hair means in our lives. But why choose right, the last show about Oprah Winfrey was good for us. It really gave us some insights on the motivations and choices for our show.  Oprah W. in the 90’s was the pre internet lifestyle website blog influencer as a tv program. Yes, it was more, but it was also that. She featured topics on the show that discussed what blowdryer to use, how to make a great Italian dish, check boxed your mental health with dr. Phil, shared her own mental growth and live reviewed a movie with a celebrity. And if the subject did not tickle, you kept it going in the background or came back the next day. It was never confrontational, always a safe and brave space. We need this.

If you had one question and one question only, what question would you ask Oprah?

If you can choose one object to represent you in (the still fictive but what a good idea) Global Museum of Media in 2080, what will it be? This answer will sum up how people who haven’t lived in the Oprah era will get acquainted with her and what the narrative will be. 

Tune in to Echobox - broadcasting from below sea level every week, Thursday until Sunday. 

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